SA Plus size retailers review

I have been rambling about the plus size fashion “industry” in SA for quite some time now (mainly on Twitter).  I have also been doing some research, speaking to designers and chatting to some other plus size ladies so I am going to be blogging about all the things on my mind regarding this topic. (Warning this is a lengthy post)

I feel very strongly about this because not only am I larger than average but statistically speaking we are one of the countries that always make it on the list of obese countries.

There is a lack of variety, especially when it comes to trends and good fit. Who says that plus size women don’t want to/shouldn’t be fashionable?

A lot of the problem lies with retailers because do they know what we want? Do they realise the gap in the market? Do they need to get a plus size lady who knows fashion involved?  So I am going to list all of the major SA retailers stores that stock plus size clothing that I know of to help any ladies who are on the search for more options. And perhaps even attract the retailers that could use some “pointers” from those who actually wear the clothes because I sometimes feel like buyers/designers don’t necessarily know what we want.

Mr P

Being one of my favourite stores because of affordability and trends, the Mr P Curve range often disappoints me. While they do sometimes adapt certain items from their moderate ranges, I feel that their curve range is made with an older woman in mind (not that there is anything wrong with that but it is Mr P) . The jeans are usually winners. A plus size girl ranging from between a size 40 and 42 can often get away with wearing the moderate range (Oakridge) in a XXL. The Oakridge high waisted skirts are a must-have because they fit so nicely and because they sit at the smallest part of the waist a plus size gal can easily get into them. I especially wish, because of their involvement with bloggers/social media/limited edition ranges/campaigns that they would get some plus size bloggers and do a campaign.

Milady’s

Part of the Mr P group, Milady’s has quite a wide variety of plus size clothing and I am often pleasantly surprised with what they have on offer. Their moderate ranges are also bigger in spec so a plus size lady can definitely wear some of the moderate items. People associate Milady’s with “old fashioned” clothes and very rarely will you spot teenagers in there unless with their moms but I think it is worth a visit. Basic and fashion tees are often a good buy from Milady’s. I have a striped tee from Milady’s which is my absolute fave.

Edgars

Edgars has a plus size brand called Penny C which is very disappointing considering the amazing brands this retailer stocks. Mostly outdated and more formal/workwear. The only thing I have ever bought from Penny C was a pair of black skinny jeans which stretched so badly every time I wore them so quality wasn’t great for price.

Jet

You will only find a good variety of Donatella (the plus size range) in bigger Jet’s. Jet keeps up with trends to a certain extent with the Donatella range and often have some really good garments on offer. Their jeans are a big no no for me because they don’t really stock skinny jeans and something about the fit is never right. A good spot for denim shirts, jerseys, fashion tops and sometimes dresses. Moderate range does go through to a size 40 which is also a good thing.

Woolworths

Because I haven’t been into Woolworths for ages I am not sure what they have been stocking so I can’t really speak for the variety and trends available at this retailer.

Donna Claire

This isn’t a very major retailer but it is an option. I personally never visit this shop because it is out of my budget and I don’t find very much on offer appealing.

Updated: PnP Clothing

I forgot about this store but I actually love their clothes and most of their garments go up to size XXXL. Thanks Jane for reminding me 🙂

There are of course some online shops that stock plus size clothing such as Spree, Zando, City Chic, Captive8 but I personally have never bought from any of them so I cannot give a proper opinion on the actual quality or fit but will do a blog post soon listing them all and what I think about what they have on offer.

This list may seem long and some might think “what is she moaning about” but all of the ranges I mentioned are pretty small with little variety and hardly any updated trends.

Many can point fingers and say just lose weight if you want to be fashionable or want more variety but that is not the point, the point is that retailers should embrace the bodies in our diverse and “large” country and cater for all.

Have I missed any shops? Where do you shop? What are your thoughts on the topic?

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21 thoughts on “SA Plus size retailers review

  1. Great Post Kerry!
    I have to agree with you on a lot of those. And here is my not very fashionable two cents…
    I will say though that Pick n Pay clothing has cute clothes and a variety of sizes and believe me they fit amazingly. Their skinny jeans are amazing because they don’t loose their shape as quickly as Woolies ones do…
    Ackermans also is a great option for those not wanting to drop too many zero’s, they always have a bigger size option but the quality can be a little lacking at times.
    Mr Price online store seems to be a great option for those of us looking for items in our sizes – I saw a few ‘bigger’ people tops and pants that I know I wouldn’t get in store but if I ordered online they were in stock.
    I find that I stear clear Jet and Hub because I find their clothes aren’t the best quality… I have to agree that Miladys does have a little bit of an ‘older lady’ perspective but they make the most comfortable swimming costumes and I agree you can find some goodies in the clothing – you just have to add your own style to it.
    A great thing about Donna Clair is that the boots that they stock fit people with bigger calf muscles (like me… the rest of me could be skin and bones and I would still have my genetically large calf muscles… ) Finding these perfect boots could make or break your winter shoe shopping.
    🙂
    XX

    1. Thanks so much Jane, especially for the input.
      I totally forgot about PnP clothing, I actually really enjoy that shop. I will add an update to this I think because I do often shop there.

  2. Thanks for this hon. I will tell you this – The Woolies plus size range (a section I go to often because of my hips and butt!) is great, but I find it frustrating. Often I’ll find a piece in the “normal” size ranges, that just doesn’t fit, and then look for it in the bigger sizes and poop. I wish they would extend the “normal” size ranges to include “plus” sizes. Same to be said about Truworths. But, mind you, I only go into the latter if i feel like having a mental breakdown. Their sizes are absolutely ridiculous – I’ve even tested it once and made C try on a size 32 dress in Truworths AND IT WAS TOO SMALL FOR HER.

    /end rant

    1. That is EXACTLY what I would like as well! For them to extend their normal sizes into a curve size!
      Because of my frugal fashion ways I don’t really do Foschini and Woolies.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences Cath, am totally shocked by the Truworths incident!

      1. Yes! I wish it would happen!

        and, ja, Truworths. I am – normally – a 36/38 and I used to be a size 34. In Truworths, at a size 34, I had to take a size 40.

        Makes. No. Sense.

      2. I wish all the time, but until then I am going to be the voice, I am going to give credit where it is due and bring up issues.
        I cannot stand when retailers stock smaller specs. I was in the Hub the other day and I swear their XXL looks like a large. Do they only want smaller people wearing their clothes? What’s the deal?
        Cath, you are so perfect the way you are so if you gotta take a 40, then take it and be proud
        xxxx

  3. Plus Size Clothing…. one of the number one things I’ve enjoyed most about my weight loss journey this year, being able to shop in “regular” sizes because I hate most of the plus size stuff in stores. It would seem that plus size ranges all assume that larger women have huge boobs and so none of the tops ever fitted me and the pants were always too large in the crotch. I also really like plain clothing and found a lot of the stores stocked heavily patterned or striped goods which I can’t stand.

    1. You have done so extremely well! I have been following your journey for a little while now.
      One of the main reasons I started my journey was for the same reason but I have failed at my weight loss many times and have decided that besides some of the “tube” on my stomach I am actually happy with myself. I am not obese and I try to be healthy most of the time.
      Because of the hardships I have faced with dieting etc. I decided I wanted to support the bigger girls like myself hence this post. I want to be the voice because the fact is that there will always be plus size ladies so why not embrace and cater for them.
      I do think it hard for them to cater for everyone because like you say they assume we have huge boobs, but then you also get the pants that are extremely long the higher the size, there is also the button ups that fit so nicely around the waist but are miles too big around the bust/shoulder area. But if they invested more time in it, they could get it right, I am sure!
      Thanks so much for your comment and support.

  4. I can totally relate to what you’re saying which is actually one of my main motivations for studying my current course. I’m tired of seeing old frumpy clothes for the plus size fashion forward people.

    As in RE to the above incident with the sizing, its called vanity sizing. All retailers do it and it erks me. I can shop at Legit but I would actually like… LOVE it if they started catering to the bigger sized women out there because they did after all dub themselves as “Fashionable threads for hot, young and fabulous SA sistas”. To me some “SA sistas” are on the curvier side of life so why not cater to them too?

    And I too would like to see retailers collaborating with plus size bloggers.

    I’m tired of debating this old lady plus size clothing so I took to studying my current course, bought myself a sewing machine and now make my own patterns and design my own clothes. Being a student, it really is hard to even shop plus size(even thought I can get away with regular sizing most of the time) because it is so overpriced. I just don’t get it.

    Great post Kerry.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
      I knew fuller figured girls would totally understand where I am coming from with this.
      I 100% agree with you about Legit, as much as their stuff goes up to a 40, I feel that more often than not their fits are smallish.
      Good for you for taking it into your own hands. It is something I have been thinking about for a while now as well. If I had studied design I would definitely have gone into the plus size sector (not that there is really one)
      I can also get away with regular sizing a lot of the time – depending on the store.
      I actually went into Hub the other day and was shocked at their regular department, the XXL looked like a large to me.
      I just don’t see why it should be SUCH a mission for us to stay up to date with trends.

  5. My pleasure darling!

    The thing with Legit’s 40’s… If its not a flowy or loose fitting item then it won’t work that’s why I would like a plus size range.

    The best thing about my course is that I don’t only learn to make the clothes/patterns but I also do the business side of it such as marketing, management, pr, textiles and all that jazz so I get to learn the ins and outs of the industry.

    Sometimes you come in store and you see something in the standard sizes and you really do want it but you can’t have it, I guess I take that idea and recreate it in plus size when I get home.

    To me Mr Price is the closest to on trend fashion for fuller figured women on a budget. The others we just can’t afford.
    I really do hope brands wake up and see the gap in the market because there’s definitely one… A huge one!

  6. You should really try Cotton On, I am by no means a small and often times land up taking their small size dresses and shirts – go have a look, they have great fast fashion stuff and generally very good prices too 🙂

  7. Loved this! At my biggest I was a 44, at y smallest a 34. When I was a 34 I could not fit into a Mr P medium and sometimes even a large was too small. I love Woolies, and find that their clothes work well for both size 34’s and 44’s, although I think their regular size only goes up to a 40. I agree with Cath about Truworths being ridiculous, YDE is equally pathetic, and don’t even get me started on Forever New! I want the 44’s to be able to wear what the 34’s wear, just in their size!

    Oh and while we are on the subject, why are SO many dresses made extremely short? I would like my dress to cover more than just my vagina. Also, why does no one make longer tops? I am not a fan of crop tops, especially when it’s actually meant to be a “regular” length top.

    It’s time to start a revolution, here’s hoping this post gets the attention it deserves!

    1. Mr Prices stuff is way too small and I know tons of people who feel the same…
      We allll want that. The 44s to be able to wear what the 34s wear.
      Well that’s a whole new topic.. Also the high low hem tops need to go.
      That is my goal, to change it all.
      Thanks for the support Gae xx

  8. If you have the budget then Trenery and Country Road are great options as they go up to size 16 or even 18 I think…and their sizes are generally more generous than other stores e.g. you’ll often take a size down from your usual when shopping there. Their stuff is on trend and not ‘old fashioned/dated’…it’s not cheap but worth a visit for something that you know you’ll wear for a long time. I always find things for my ‘plus-sized’ clients there…

    1. Hey Pippa, thanks so much for sharing that. I have just been browsing the Woolies site and am in love with all the Trenery stuff so I think I will start using this as an option when the budget allows.
      Thanks for the comment and for the insight, you have really introduced me to a brand I think I am going to have a serious love affair with 🙂

  9. I second you on all thee above. Pick n Pay has the perfect fit with an affordable price. You left out Truworths there plus size clothing fits me perfect it’s stylish and modern but expensive. Yet if you want to look and feel like a diva for some special occasion then it’s worth spending your your money at there shop.

    1. Yes – I did leave out Truworths (oops). It is not ever a shop I go into so I had no idea that they stocked plus size.
      The reason I never go in is because of price, but I might take a peep and see what they have and what the prices are like
      Thanks so much for the comment and visiting my blog Levona

  10. Hi have you looked at City Chic? Latest Fashion, cheaper than Donna Claire with some of the basic items, more range for the younger girls and Clare the Manager is wonderful.

    Lovely place to get Matric Dresses from R799 – R1800.00 for the more curvaceous figure, I only found the shop after having my daughters dress made, i was looking for a strapless bra as she takes an F. Their Bras go up to 22G. I don’t mind travelling from Alberton to Sandton City (they also have a store in Menlyn) to buy an outfit as they are reasonable and quality is excellent

    1. Hi Tracy,
      I always browse City Chic but have never actually purchased because I am in Durban and there is no store here. I am little bit nervous about what size to order. But I do love what they offer and will probably just take the plunge and order something very soon 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the comment

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